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10 March 2020 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Victor Sguassero (kykNET)
Chris Vorster
Chris was on stage in 'Die Hart Verklap' at the Toyota US Woordfees in Stellenbosch recently.

“Difficult and very strange,” is how Chris Vorster, veteran actor and Drama lecturer at the University of the Free State (UFS) describes his role as Bas Koorts in the supernatural thriller Die Spreeus

For Chris, the biggest challenge during the filming of Die Spreeus was to work in front of a green screen. “You never see the monsters and things attacking you, it is only added later on during the editing process,” he said. Therefore, he and his co-actors were expected to use their own imagination “to be frightened, and to duck and dive from something that does not exist.” 

This Afrikaans thriller series has recently been nominated in five categories of the South African Film and Television Awards, including Best Television Drama, Best Cinematography, and Original Sound and Sound Editing. 

Chris was also nominated for a Fiësta award in 2019 for his one-man performance in the theatre production, Die Hart verklap. “It is fantastic to still be recognised for my work,” he said, “but I also have to give recognition to Dion van Niekerk, because without a good director, any actor will be lost.” Van Niekerk also lectures Drama at the UFS.

Being a lecturer broadens his knowledge 

Chris joined the UFS Department of Drama and Theatre Arts in 2015 as lecturer in the programme for Film en Visual Media. “Everything I learn in the industry I apply as lecturer, and research and teaching feed more knowledge on acting, directing, and especially writing,” he said. After five years, being involved with the UFS Department of Drama is still exciting to him. “This is where both lecturers and students get encouraged to do more than just breathing.” 

With his busy schedule of teaching and acting, it remains important to him that South Africans are still able to tell stories – “in any language”. He considers it a privilege for anyone to work in their mother tongue. This is also why the symbiosis between his work as actor and lecturer is so appealing.

News Archive

Geology researcher wins international photographic contest
2017-06-02

Description: Dr Elizaveta Kovaleva Tags: Dr Elizaveta Kovaleva

In this winning photo, “Movement of the ancient sand”,
Dr Matthew Huber, postdoctoral research fellow in the
Department of Geology at UFS, is scaling an outcrop
of sandstone (former sand dunes) in the Zion National
Park in the US.
Photo: Dr Elizaveta Kovaleva


Dr Elizaveta Kovaleva and Dr Matthew Huber, postdoctoral research fellows in the Department of Geology at the University of the Free State (UFS), attended the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, Austria in April 2017, where Dr Kovaleva was declared a winner of the EGU photo contest with a photograph entitled “Movement of the ancient sand”.

Submitting the winning photo
Each participant could submit up to three photos to participate in the contest before the conference. From all the photographs 10 were selected and displayed for the entire week at the assembly so participants could vote for their three favourite photos. At the end of the week three winners were selected. The prize winners received a free EGU book of their choice, free registration for next year’s EGU and an option to judge the photo competition next year. The photos will be printed on postcards next year, so all participants can send them wherever they want around the globe.

“The picture was taken in the Zion National Park in the US. Myself and Dr Huber were travelling around the western states, visiting national parks. The person in the picture is Dr Huber,” said Dr Kovaleva.

Dr Kovaleva was also invited to participate - as a recently published author - in a workshop, called: ”Publishing in EGU journals: Solid Earth and Earth Surface Dynamics – Meet the Editors”.

At the assembly, Dr Kovaleva attended sessions on Tectonics and Structural Geology as well as on Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology and Volcanology. These sessions were especially interesting in the scope of her research and are directly related to it. “I am a metamorphic petrologist, and with my PhD, I essentially studied microstructures. At the moment, I am studying the Vredefort impact crater, which has experienced both metamorphism and deformation,” she said.

“The winning photos will be printed on postcards,
so all participants can send them wherever they
want around the globe”.

Building scientific connections
For both researchers, the assembly was an opportunity to meet former colleagues and professors from universities all over the world and shake hands with authors whose papers and work they were familiar with, but had never met in person.

“EGU is a perfect opportunity to build scientific connections and relationships, advertise your research and start new collaborations and projects,” said Dr Kovaleva.

The EGU General Assembly 2017 was a great success, with 4 849 oral, 11 312 poster, and 1 238 PICO presentations. Some 649 unique scientific sessions, together with 88 short courses and 322 side events, created an interesting programme. At the conference 14 496 scientists from 107 countries participated, of whom 53% were under the age of 35. Thirty one were from South Africa.

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